Alumni Applause

Erica Webber

July 15th, 2019 by alumni

A dynamic scholar, transformative leader, and forward-thinking visionary, President Jones is committed to building upon MAE’s historical legacy while advancing the organization’s mission and achieving new levels of excellence. Her focus will be on strengthening the teaching profession, growing and engaging membership, increasing the organization’s presence, and better equipping educators with skills and resources that will allow them to compete in the globalized 21st century educational setting.

Previously, President Jones served as an instructional coach and teacher in the Hinds County School District for four years. While there, she improved her students’ passage rate on district-level assessments and saw profound academic growth in her pupils. Because of her effective instructional practices, she was named Teacher of the Year for Gary Road Elementary. It didn’t take long before district leadership took notice of her superb performance in the classroom. Jones was named Hinds County’s District Teacher of the Year and her class became a model classroom for teachers to visit.

In 2018, she was also selected by the NEA Foundation to serve as a Global Learning Fellow. Later this summer she will travel to South Africa where she will share educational experiences from the United States. Jones has served as a local president for the Jackson Association of Educators and been an advocate for educators in Mississippi for eighteen years. She has served on MAE’s state leadership team as Mississippi’s national education director and, most recently, as the organization’s secretary-treasurer. Jones is also a prolific Praxis trainer and has helped to place dozens of teachers in Mississippi classrooms.

A native of Houston, Mississippi, Jones earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Elementary Education from Jackson State University in May 2000.  She also holds certifications in English (7-12), Math (7-12), and Library Media.

President Jones is a member of several professional organizations, including the Mississippi Association of Educators and the National Education Association, The Byram-Terry JSU Alumni Association, Byram-Terry Junior Auxiliary, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her leisure time, Jones enjoys Jackson State University sports, reading, and traveling. She is married to Arthur Jones and is the proud mother of two children, Nicholas and Kenley Grace.

Posted in Alumni Applause

Otis Gaines, II

July 8th, 2019 by alumni

Mr. Gaines is a native of Jackson, MS. He graduated from Jackson State University in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Science & Technology. He is an advocate for education and a firm believer in “the more you know”. His educational journey also led to stops at William Carey University, where he received a Master of Education in the Art of Teaching, and the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership.

Mr. Gaines began his professional career with the Jackson Public School District in 2004 as the Tech Prep teacher at Hardy Middle School. He also taught and coached basketball on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.- at Long Beach High School. While on the Coast, he had the unique opportunity to coach the Mississippi Blues, a member of the American Basketball Association. In 2011, he returned home to his alma mater and was named the head boys' basketball coach and health teacher at Provine High.

In 2019, Mr. Gaines entered the administrative arena by completing the Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality School Leadership (MAPSQSL) program. He brings over 14 years of experience as an accomplished educator/athletic professional who is dedicated to the educational success of all students.
Mr. Gaines' passion for youth and basketball opened doors for him to give back to the community. He has done charitable work with the Mo Williams Foundation basketball camp and the Mississippi Drills and Skills Academy. In 2012, he started the O.G. II Camp Evolution: Books & Basketball, where good student-athletes evolve into great leaders.

Mr. Gaines is the son of Otis Sr. and E. Louise Gaines. He is the eldest of his two siblings: Caleb and Danielle Gaines.

Posted in Alumni Applause

Patrease Edwards

July 2nd, 2019 by alumni

Patrease Edwards is a native of East St. Louis, IL and the youngest child of Flousel and Shirley Coleman Jr. She graduated from Lincoln Sr. High School in 1995 and was recruited to Jackson State University to play volleyball. Patrease is an Assistant Principal at Lanier High School in the Jackson Public School District. She is a doctoral candidate and has an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership from Mississippi College, a Master of Science in Education degree in Special Education and Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Social Science from Jackson State University. 

After receiving her bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University, Patrease moved to Daytona Beach, FL where she taught and coached volleyball, basketball, cheerleading and track and field at Deland High School. She returned to Jackson, MS in 2005 and began teaching at Jim Hill High School and served as Department Chair of Exceptional Education before being promoted to central office as a Transition Program Specialist in the Office of Exceptional Education Services in 2012.

  Patrease has been an active member of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association since graduating in 1999. She helped charter the Greater Orlando Chapter in 2004 and served as the chapter’s first president. In 2010 she helped charter the Byram-Terry Chapter and served as the chapter’s first president until 2017. She became a life member of the alumni association in 2014. She has served on the Executive Board of the Alumni Association as secretary and is currently the Regional Vice President for Mississippi. Her focus areas are to increase alumni giving and involvement. Under her leadership, the MS Region has grown from twenty one active chapters to now twenty six active chapters and has given more than $30,000 to JSU.  Three chapters have initiated endowments and she recently initiated an annual scholarship for students residing in Mississippi. 

Patrease is very active in her community and is a member of the Junior Auxiliary of Byram-Terry, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and Jennie O. Johnson Chapter #360 Order of the Eastern Star.  

Posted in Alumni Applause

Quintessa Hathaway, Ed.D.

June 21st, 2019 by alumni

Dr. Quintessa Hathaway is native of “Music City” Nashville, Tennessee. She grew up amidst a large tight-knit family whom she describes as the definition of love and one of her greatest sources of inspiration. She is an academician, lifelong learner, and forward thinker. Those traits were instilled and reinforced very early by her father, Mr. Andrew Jackson Pride; and her maternal grandfather, Mr. Joe Miller Hathaway, Sr. A couple of her personal mantras are, “If you want to lead the people, you must first love the people. If you love the people, you will lift the people.” and “Education is designed to give learners transformational revolutionary power.”

The 2006 graduate of our illustrious Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science knows the institution is a dynamic force in her life and laid the foundation for her later academic and professional successes. She went on to graduate from the renowned Tennessee State University with a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction; a Specialist in Education degree in Administration and Supervision; and a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership. Her groundbreaking dissertation, “The Common Core State Standards Initiative And The Achievement Gap” was a national analysis of our country’s educational policy. It is steeped in scholarship and has the potential to empower the American education system.

She began her public servant journey in 2006 when she ran for elected office. She sought to be a member of the 104th General Assembly in the Tennessee House of Representatives serving District 53 (parts of South Nashville and Antioch). Although she lost the election, she counted the undertaking as a victory and attain a third of the Democratic Party popular vote. Afterward, she continued to serve her community for over eleven years as a distinguished tenured educator and taught in various capacities such as secondary education in both middle and high school in urban and suburban settings, an adjunct faculty member at a metropolitan Little Rock college, alternative education, and adult education.

Currently, Dr. Quintessa Hathaway is the founder, chief executive officer, and lead consultant of Q. Hathaway & Associates, LLC, an Arkansas Department of Education approved and results-driven education consulting and professional development provider. Her organization is a woman and minority-owned professional services entity based in the greater Little Rock, Arkansas area. 

Her team of consultants has over eighty years of combined experience as highly qualified educators, published authors, textbook writers, instructional coaches, STEAM-certified teachers, and administrators who bring transformative solutions and evidence-based strategies to schools and districts across the southern and midwestern United States of America. Her self-titled organization has grown rapidly and is making major strides to help schools thrive academically. Her teammates and she are on a historic mission and calling to increase student achievement by double-digit gains in the core subject areas in what she calls, “The Freedom Schools.”

Her international professional blog,, captivates the hearts and minds of over 1,500 leading political and educational figures, think tanks, theologians, civil rights activist, national commentators, college and university presidents, and educators, professionals, and informed citizens. The platform has flourished exponentially over the past five years. It was even featured in the African American Voices Juneteenth 2018 edition for its stance taken on the Libyan slavery crisis.

Dr. Quintessa Hathaway is a published author, writer, has an active research agenda and manuscripts in the publication process. One of her bestselling and seminal works to date is titled, “A Talk With The Community: Politics, Education, And Other Social Issues.” Another book is titled, “Boy Joe Down In The Country: A Sharecropping Story” a memorial literary text to honor to her grandfather, but also a living commemoration to a fading class of people. It gives a snapshot of a system that began during the Radical Reconstruction years and lasted through the 1950s and catapulted the American agrarian society into an economic machine. She wrote “Words From The Greats, Version 1.0,” a trilogy series highlighting ten legendary leaders: Thurgood Marshall, James Baldwin, James Farmer, Jr., James Meredith, Fannie Lou Hamer, Diane Nash, Ella Baker, Dorothy Height, Malcolm X, and Shirley Chisholm.

She is a member of several civic and social organizations such as: National Education Association (NEA), Arkansas Education Association (AEA), National Council For The Social Studies (NCSS), National Association For The Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), National Organization For Women (NOW), International Black Women’s Congress (IBWC), and the League of Women’s Voters (LWV). While completing undergraduate school, she was a recipient of Jackson State University’s Ida B. Wells Scholastic Achievement Award, several Certificates Of Academic Achievement, a Dean’s List Scholar, and served as Student Government Association Class President.

Dr. Quintessa Hathaway is a deeply spiritual and philosophical woman. She enjoys heartwarming and enthralling intellectual conversations. When she is not traveling for her consulting firm or leisure, she is home in metropolitan Little Rock cooking savory meals, reading, writing, watching C-SPAN, and public speaking. She is flirting with the possibility of reentering the political arena in 2022 but expresses she is waiting for the ancestors to be in agreeance.



Posted in Alumni Applause

Charles “Jerome” Brown, II

May 15th, 2019 by alumni

Charles “Jerome” Brown, II is a native of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and a product of the Hattiesburg Public Schools System. Brown’s father Charles is a decorated Vietnam Veteran and retired from the WIN Job Center after 30 years of service and mother Christine is a retired school teacher with 32 years of service. Brown’s twin brother Jermaine is an administrator for the Hattiesburg Public Schools. 

Brown graduated from Jackson State University with a Bachelor in Business Administration majoring in Marketing.  Jerome furthered his studies at the University of Southern Mississippi in Management.  He is also a graduate of the University of Mississippi’s School of Banking with the Mississippi Bankers Association. Brown also holds a certification from the True South Economic Development Course from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Brown is Senior Vice President, Director of Community Development at The First, A National Banking Association. At The First, Jerome oversees corporate community development activities within The First’s footprint which is Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.  This position establishes, participates and maintains relationships with local governments, community-based, charitable, and non-profit organizations.  Brown Develops and implements programs and products to ensure the Bank meets the needs of the community and maintains compliance regulations.  Brown advises the Bank's Executive Management and Bank personnel of emerging community issues to ensure compliance directives are achieved.  Brown further assists in ensuring department activities run smoothly and efficiently by providing leadership, training and supervision within the company. The Department of Treasury recently selected Mr. Brown to be a member of the OCC’s Minority Depository Institutions Advisory Committee (MDIAC) for the 2019-2020 term.

In the community, Brown has been very active where he currently serves as, a Commissioner of the Forrest County Industrial Park Commission; Current boards are as follows: Mississippi Council on Economic Education; Fellowship of Christian Athletes; Renaissance Community Loan Fund Corporation; The Hattiesburg Public School District Foundation (President-elect). 

His past boards include the Board of Directors of the University of Southern Mississippi Foundation, Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, The USM Athletic Foundation, DREAM of Hattiesburg, The Area Development Partnership and Board Chairman for the United Way of Southeast Mississippi, being the first African American to serve in this position and Founder and Past President of the Hattiesburg Athletic Booster Club. Brown is also the voice of the Hattiesburg High Tigers Football Team as he announces the play by play for football games on the radio.

Brown is Past President of the Jackson State University Alumni Association, Hattiesburg Chapter and currently the Treasurer.  Brown is a Life Member of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association Board of Directors serving as the Sargent at Arms.

Brown is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., where he is Past President of the Mississippi State Caucus and Past President of the Hattiesburg Alumni Chapter and is past Southwestern Province Board Member for Mississippi.

In 2003 the Hattiesburg Jaycees named Brown as the Outstanding Young Citizen of the Year.  In 2008 and 2012, Brown received the Area Development Partnership Top Service Award.  In 2009, the South Mississippi Business Journal named Brown to the prestigious Top 10 under 40.  Brown was also named the 2009 Alumni Brother of the Year from the Mississippi State Caucus of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.  Brown is also a Graduate of Leadership Pine Belt and Leadership Mississippi.

Brown is married to the former Celeste Thornton of Jackson, Mississippi and they have two children Cameren and Carmen and are members of West Point Baptist Church. 


Posted in Alumni Applause

Dr. Adrian L. Mayse

May 10th, 2019 by alumni

A native of Byhalia, Mayse received his B.B.A. in finance from the University of Mississippi, and his M.P.A. from JSU in ’07. At the age of 34, Dr. Adrian L. Mayse, CPA, has become the youngest tenured associate professor of accounting at Howard University. Months before starting his doctoral program at Jackson State, Mayse’s brother was killed in an unfortunate car accident. However, instead of giving in to his grief, he soldiered forward and is reaping the rewards of his work.

“I had to depend on a strength that was higher than myself. I have learned how to turn my tragedy into a testimony. So my hope today is to continue to serve students and contribute to the field of accounting and always remember those who have paved the way for me,” he said.  “Special thanks to my mentors: Dr. Quinton Booker, Dr. Bobbie Daniels and my partner Duvalier Malone for all of their support.”

Before joining the faculty at Howard University in 2015, Mayse was a faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University.  His research focuses on the judgment and decision making of auditors and financial statement users concerning audit standard setting and regulation. Additionally, his research appears in the Journal of Accounting and Finance, Journal of Business and Economic Perspectives, Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, Journal of Behavioral Studies in Business and the Journal of Finance and Accountancy. Mayse also teaches international accounting and accounting information systems and the master of accountancy’s seminar in accounting course. He has taught cost accounting, accounting principles II, and accounting principles I. He worked for the Mississippi Department of Revenue for three years as a tax auditor. He is a member of the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of CPAs, the Ph.D. Project, and the National Association of Black Accountants.

Mayse said he is looking forward to the next chapter of his career and hopes that his journey inspires others to achieve their dream.


Posted in Alumni Applause

Dionne Jones-Woody

May 3rd, 2019 by alumni

Dionne Jones-Woody is a 1994 B.S. Elementary Education and a 1997 M.S. Education Administration & Leadership graduate of Jackson State University. She has been appointed Asst. Superintendent of Elementary Schools for Jackson (MS) Public Schools effective July 1, 2019. Jones-Woody has served as the principal at Key Elementary School since 2012. Currently, Key is rated an “A” school and ranked #15 in the state of Mississippi. 

Jones-Woody’s career in education spans over 22 years, she has always endeavored to educate the whole child rather than merely focusing on strictly academics. Woody often says…..“I treat all children as though they’re my own biological children.” 

Jones-Woody believes she is well respected by her staff, colleagues, and superiors for exhibiting a very hands-on, compassionate, and approachable demeanor with the scholars, their families, and staff members. While quite simple in words, her mantra is “we not me,” has profound meaning to those who she works alongside. Jones-Woody was named Administrator of the Year for Jackson Public Schools in February 2016, Jackson State University National Alumni Association 2016 Black Tie Award for commitment in the field of Education, 2016 Mississippi House of Representative Proclamation in the field of Education, and 2017 Women of Progress, Inc.  Distinguish Award.

She has also been featured in the “Jackson Free Press News” and educational magazines. Numerous times, she has been featured on the news for her success in schools where she has been the administrator. In 2016, WJTV News Channel broadcasted a “Success Story” for Key Elementary for being an integral part with scholars academically.   Jones-Woody was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. Delta Pi Chapter at JSU. She is an active member of Pilgrim Rest M. B. Church (Madison), she serves on the Happy Fund for Needy Children, Inc.  Board, Couture Cares, Inc. Board, South Central Community Action Agency, Inc. Board Member, Life Member of Jackson State University Alumni Association, Member of National Association of Elementary School Principals Association and several other organizations.

When she is not wearing her principal’s hat or working in the community, she can be very easily heard cheering for her boys (James and Jarvis) with baseball, football and other extracurricular activities they are involved in.  Jones-Woody follows a JSU graduate legacy from her parents Henry and Linda Jones.  Should you had seen two other women looking identical to Dionne on the “yard”, those were her triplet sisters everyone knew as the “Triplets”.  Her sisters, DeWanda Jones Nelson, Asst. Principal and Denise Jones Gregory, University Asst. Provost who both, live in Birmingham, AL.

Jones-Woody is a product of the Columbus Public School District.  Jones-Woody began her teaching career at Marshall Elementary School (Jackson (MS) Public Schools) right out of college.  She has worked in Atlanta (GA) Public Schools as a teacher and reading specialist, Montgomery (AL) Public Schools as a schoolwide instructional specialist and assistant principal.  In Jackson (MS) Public Schools she has served as a teacher, assistant principal from 2006-2008 at Johnson Elementary and principal from 2008-2012 at Bradley Elementary School improving from low performing to successful/high performing under her leadership.  After assuming leadership of Key Elementary, the school maintained a “B” rating from 2013-2017 before achieving “A” rating in 2018.   

Working with children is part of Jones-Woody’s daily life.  She says …children are a gift!  It makes her feel proud knowing she has reached a child.  She is a strong advocate for children being treated fairly, academically and socially.  Also, she believes in the old African Proverb: “It Takes a Village to Raise a Child”.  




Posted in Alumni Applause

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Dexter Brookins

April 25th, 2019 by alumni

Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Dexter Brookins is the Chair of the Department of Military Science and Professor of Military Science and Leadership at Jackson State University.   The Jackson State University Army ROTC Tiger Battalion serves Central Mississippi, in order to train Cadets and Students to become future Army Officers as well as global leaders in the private sector. The program is the host Army ROTC program for Belhaven College, Delta State University, Hinds Community College Utica Campus, Millsaps College, Tougaloo CollegeMississippi College, Mississippi Valley State University and University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Nursing.

LTC Brookins served in the Mississippi National Guard, as a Soldier and Cadet, from 1992 until 1996.  During his 32 years as a Soldier, he has visited more than 20 countries. He served during Operation Enduring Freedom as well in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Operation LTC Brookins has worked directly for a 1-Star General, a 3-Star General and a 4-Star General.  LTC Brookins has served at the national-level in the Pentagon. 

LTC Brookins also served as a White House Military Social Aide to President George W. Bush. LTC Brookins holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Jackson State University, Jackson, MS and a Masters of Policy Management Degree from Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

He is currently pursuing his Doctoral Degree in Urban Higher Education at Jackson State University, Jackson, MS, expected to graduate summer 2019.

His awards include; the Bronze Star Medal, the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Basic Airborne Wings, Air Assault Wings, the Joint Staff Identification Badge, and the Army Staff Identification Badge.  

LTC Brookins is an active member of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association; The Rocks, Inc.; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Prince Hall Mason; VFW ##9832, and The Society of White House Military Aides.

Posted in Alumni Applause

Natdrick Jones

April 16th, 2019 by alumni

Mr. Natdrick Jones owns N.L. Jones Funeral Directors (a full-service funeral home); Heaven’s Gate Memorial Garden (a perpetual care cemetery); and co-owns Little Angels Learning Center, all in Tupelo.

A native of Los Angeles, California, Jones graduated from Tupelo High School in 1984. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Jackson State University in 1990 and an associate’s degree of Mortuary Science from Jefferson State School of Mortuary Science in 2000.

He is a life member of the Jackson State University National Alumni Association and a member of the JSUNAA Tupelo Alumni Chapter. His other affiliations include the NAACP, National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Upsilon Epsilon Chapter at JSU.

Natdrick is the son of JSU alum Lera M. Jones (Class of 1965). According to Natdrick Jones, his mother met his father in 1964 at a James Brown concert at College Park Auditorium in Georgia. His father, Nathaniel Leon Jones, then 22, was a musical genius from Kinston, N.C., and the saxophonist and band director of The James Brown Show. Natdrick said once his dad laid eyes on his mother he said she was the “prettiest girl he had ever seen.” The rest is history. Oh, do we love Thee I Love JSU!

Posted in Alumni Applause

Dr. Kelvin Jones

April 9th, 2019 by alumni

Dr. Kelvin Jones is the newly appointed Associate Director of Bands at Louisiana State University. His responsibilities include co-directing the Sudler-winning "Golden Band from Tigerland," conducting the Symphonic Band, teaching undergraduate conducting, marching band techniques, graduate-level wind literature, and directing the Bengal Brass pep band which supports men and women basketball, gymnastics, volleyball programs, and provides numerous other performances in support of LSU athletics.

He is an active drill designer and music arranger for high school and university music programs across the country with his arrangements being performed throughout the United States, including the Dallas Winds. Jones is a 2011 recipient of the Louisiana Music Educators Association’s Young Music Educator of the Year, the 2013 recipient of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra’s Teacher of Distinction, and the 2014 LSU A.P. Tureaud award recipient for significant contributions to the university. His halftime shows have been featured at the 2017 College Band Directors National Association Conference (CBDNA) in Kansas City, MO and the 2018 Southern CBDNA Conference in Tampa, FL. He is the former band director at West Feliciana High School in St. Francisville, Louisiana. At WFHS, he led an active, comprehensive music program that produced numerous award-winning performances at state and national events, including the 2013 United States National Presidential Inauguration Music Festival in Washington DC.

Dr. Jones has also presented at international, national, and state music conferences across the United States, including Ohio, Texas, and Louisiana Music Educators Associations. He is published in the Instrumentalist magazine (Jan. 2014 and Dec. 2015), an active clinician, and has traveled internationally working with music programs in South America (Chile) and with the LSU marching band in Dublin, Ireland. He also serves as a clinician/instructor at the Smith-Walbridge Drum Major Clinic held in Charleston, Illinois working with high school and college drum majors from across the country.

He holds degrees in Music from Jackson State University and Louisiana State University. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity Inc., National Association for Music Education, Louisiana Music Educators Association, Louisiana Association of Jazz Educators, HBCU Band Directors Consortium, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. He resides in Zachary, LA with his wife Felicia, a registered nurse, and their bundle of joy son, Samuel aka "BJ". 

Posted in Alumni Applause